Fixed Wireless Internet Providers

Find fixed wireless internet providers in your area.

Direct signal to other fixed wireless transmitters

About Fixed Wireless Internet

Fixed wireless is a type of internet service delivered using transmitters to send and receive internet signals from one point in a city to another. These transmitters are affixed to stationary objects—like poles, buildings, or towers—at strategic locations, combining to create a wireless network.

Unlike cellular towers, fixed wireless transmitters are hardwired into an Internet Service Provider (ISP) network. While cell towers transmit in all directions within a given radius, fixed wireless transmitters send signals directly to other fixed wireless transmitters. They don’t disperse the signal around the tower.

Essentially, fixed wireless providers work like most landline networks, but they use wireless transmitters instead of running cables under the city streets. Not only does this configuration save on the up-front costs of building a network, but it also allows for a strong and fast internet connection within that network.

End users won’t notice a difference in the way they connect to the internet, but they will notice a faster and more reliable connection than they may get with other types of wireless internet.

Our article on fixed wireless is a great way to learn more about this emerging technology, including how it differs from the broadband you get from your mobile phone provider.

Top 5 Fixed Wireless Providers

ProductUser RatingMax Speed%Coverage
#1Frontier Fios3.0/545 Mbps3%
#2FPL FiberNet LLCN/A1000 Mbps1%
#3Summit Broadband4.0/5100 Mbps1%
#4Level 3 CommunicationsN/A1000 MbpsN/A
#5Lightower Fiber NetworksN/A1000 MbpsN/A

Pros

Potential Availability
Because sending signals wirelessly is more cost-effective than building the infrastructure to send a signal via a wired connection, ISPs can expand their service areas without a lot of up-front costs. This business advantage is particularly helpful for smaller ISPs or ISPs just entering the market.

Signal Quality
Fixed wireless delivers a higher-quality signal than other types of wireless internet because its transmissions are focused directly toward the receiver on your home and not scattered in multiple directions.

xCons

Geometric Limitations
Fixed wireless internet transmitters require a clear line of sight from one transmitter to another in order to function. Ensuring that lines of sight remain clear can be problematic because an ISP can’t always control what happens between one transmitter and another. A tree could grow taller, another company could construct a tall building, a pole could get knocked over by adverse weather—all of which could potentially disrupt a fixed wireless transmission.

The line of sight problem also limits the geographical areas in which fixed wireless internet can work. Fixed wireless works well in cities with numerous tall buildings and towers where ISPs can mount wireless transmitters with plenty of sight lines. However, creating lines of sight across natural terrain requires additional infrastructure, so constructing fixed wireless networks in rural areas is less cost-effective for ISPs.

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Fixed Wireless vs. Satellite Internet vs. Mobile Broadband vs. 5G

Although fixed wireless is often confused with other terms associated with wireless communication, it is different from satellite internet, Wi-Fi, wireless broadband, and 5G.

Satellite internet works using transmitters orbiting Earth. This technology allows for high availability but also results in high latency.

Wi-Fi generally refers to small Local Area Networks (LANs). For example, your home Wi-Fi network or the Wi-Fi at your favorite coffee shop both manage the internet connections for all the devices on their respective networks, but they rely on an ISP internet connection to relay all those connections.

Although it’s not an official term, mobile broadband has been used to describe the internet you get on your smartphone when it’s not connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Lastly, 5G isn’t even a specific type of wireless communication. It stands for “fifth-generation wireless” and is basically a list of criteria that each network will need to meet in order to be classified as 5G. These criteria include standards for transmission speeds, reduced latency, and user capacity.

Some of these wireless internet technologies can work together for great results. For example, you could get internet transmitted to your home via fixed wireless, then create your own Wi-Fi network from there. Additionally, improved wireless capabilities, like those described by the 5G criteria, should help fixed wireless networks function more efficiently and thus make them even more cost-effective.

The Expansion of Fixed Wireless

In 2011, companies began using more frequencies in the wave spectrum to transmit wireless internet. This advancement has made fixed wireless more practical and led to an uptick in the adoption of this technology. The added frequencies combined with other advancements in wireless internet technology set the stage for increased expansion of fixed wireless internet.

As fixed wireless continues to expand, HighSpeedInternet.com will keep up to date and help you find the fixed wireless internet providers available in your area.

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